Three Little Known Facts about Depression
When compared to the general population, those with depression experience far more pervasive sadness and despair, for longer periods of time. Negative, even crippling, emotions become a part of daily life for those with the illness, and cannot be easily remedied. Many people are quick to throw the word around, claiming that they are “depressed”, when really they may be experiencing a less-than-optimal day, marked by normal emotions for the circumstances. Using the term to describe these feelings may be harmful to the wellbeing of those who actually suffer with depression, as it undermines the seriousness of the situation. Most people who use the term loosely are probably not trying to be malicious, and may just be uninformed. This article will aim to outline less well-known facts about depression, so that people can gain a full understanding of it.
Fact #1: Depression is Often Misdiagnosed
Statistically, depression is misdiagnosed as anxiety 65% of the time, notes Psychologytoday.com. This mistake is not surprising, as so many of the symptoms for each condition overlap. However, misdiagnosis is problematic because it delays receipt of the proper treatment that the patient truly needs. Symptoms that occur in patients with both disorders include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Concentration issues
- Constant worry
Fact #2: There are Two Types of Depression
One of the less well-known depression facts is that there are two different types of depression. Situational depression and biochemical depression arise for different reasons, and persist for various durations. Situational depression is caused by stressful life factors, such as the loss of a loved-one or a job. The length of this condition typically matches that of the stressor. This means that when the situation that is provoking depression subsides, so will the symptoms.
The other of the two types of depression is called biochemical depression, also known as chronic depression. While this can also be triggered by stressful life events, it is primarily caused by an underlying chemical imbalance (this is not the case for situational depression). Treatment with antidepressants where the patient shows symptom improvement is an indicator that there is a chemical component to the depression. Psychiatrist Scottsdale notes that those who are exposed to a greater number of stressors are more susceptible to developing clinical depression. Further, the condition is the most detectable when people have at least five symptoms of depression in the absence of any triggers. Depression facts show that, whereas situational depression ends when the stressful event does, clinical depression persists (untreated) for six months to a year, says Psychiatrist Scottsdale.
Fact #3: Depression can Impact Physical Health
As well, not only does depression affect mood and emotions, it also can greatly compromise physical wellness. People with depression often experience some form of chronic pain, which may last for years and may impact healthy functions, like exercise and sleep. The National Institute of Mental Health states that those with more severe depression have greater rates of chronic pain. Scientists theorize that an excess of chemical messengers called cytokines causes this. These cells are responsible for regulating the immune system’s response to infection, and also control how long the response lasts.
There are a lot of things that the general population does not know about depression. Misconceptions about this serious condition are often taken as truths, which can be harmful to those who suffer with it. Even researchers are still working to find more legitimate facts about depression. The use of clinical trials – studies in which scientists use volunteers to try to determine the most probable cause and treatment for disease – are one way that they collect this information. Professionals often seek new participants for experimental studies, as they are beneficial to medical knowledge, and for the volunteer as well.
To learn more about Los Angeles clinical trials for depression or other forms of medical issues, contact the Pacific Institute of Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.